Friday, April 29, 2011

a blackout

Before retiring last night I knew there was a flood warning for our area, going into the early morning.  When the power went out around 5:30 AM, I awoke with a start--noticing immediately the silent, jet black room.  The Hepa-filter fans running in two rooms make low levels roars and without them, the sudden silence was striking.

My nursing toddler barely flinched, continuing her sleepy, half-hearted sucking.  Compared to the howling gusts outside--the strength of which I'd never before experienced--I found her nursing sounds quite soothing.

My first thought?

I wished I'd checked the online weather forecast before retiring, because these winds could easily progress to tornado-like strength?  I'd woken to more earthquakes than I can count in my lifetime--being a Southern California native--but howling winds up to 60 - 70 miles per hour were entirely new, even for a fourteen-year high-desert dweller.

My second thought?

Oh yeah, we don't have a basement! (Something I'm usually happy about--I find that damp smell nauseating.)  Should I wake everyone--including husband who'd just come home from work at 4:00 AM--or assume we're all goners anyway, and try to go back to sleep?

My third thought?

If Peter wakes and notices the blackout and high winds, he'll freak out (tornadoes are one of his worst fears).

My fourth thought?

Oh boy, he's awake!  Here we go.

Peter immediately got a flashlight from the closet in his bedroom, and proceeded to tell both parents, "There's a blackout and we're going to die!"

Momma whispers, trying not to wake the nursing toddler:  "No, Peter. We're not going to die.  It's just a windy storm and the power will come on shortly. They have people working on it.  Quiet down or you'll wake everyone!"

I had folded and sorted clean clothes for Goodwill, relatives, and our drawers until 2:00 AM, eager to get the spring clothing switch done.  I then had insomnia until roughly 2:30 AM, so I'd clocked little sleep.

Peter's paranoia, I knew, wasn't going to calm--we were up for the day, like it or not.

The good news is that the baby went back to sleep for awhile, with Daddy. The bad news is that Peter woke his brother Paul, who is a night person (like the rest of the family minus Peter).  Paul usually rises at 8:00 AM, Mary around 7:35 AM,  Momma and Beth around 7: 45 AM (this late just since daylight savings) and Peter, the lone man out, around 6: 45 AM, most mornings.  Daddy often sleeps until 9:00 AM, depending on his schedule the night before.  This morning he hoped to sleep until 10:30 AM, as Wednesday night is his heaviest work night.

Peter calmed after natural light entered the house, but he and his brother made so much noise, as they roamed the house, watching and reacting to the high winds, that poor Mary was awake far earlier than her body wanted. She then came in for an earlier-than-normal cuddle, waking her little sister.

Momma made do with no electricity, by making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for breakfast, and reading as many picture books as her fatigued body could handle, with the little natural light available during stormy skies.  This calmed the troops for a while, and the power finally came back on around 9: 30 AM--with everything in the fridge and freezer surviving the blackout.

We were a tired bunch today!

Through the Lord's grace we made it through the day, with nary a ripple. And strangely enough, we never got a drop of rain during the night or day, despite the darkened skies.  They changed the flood warning to a high-wind warning.

We got though this unscathed, but so many others did not!

Please pray for this blogger's large family, who lost their home to a tornado on Wednesday? Her story, including that she just had a baby, warrants much prayer.  Her church has set up a tornado fund to help her, as well as her family and church friend, Mrs. Lee--a mother of thirteen, who lost both her husband and her home to the tornado.  

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